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“Samadhi is a Sanskrit word indicating the one-pointed state of body and mind in meditation (zazen).  It is translated as ding in Chinese, which means ‘stability’ (page 13).”[1] Anyone who has been around Buddhism or Yoga or any Eastern (as we call it) teachings will know this word well.  Many seek to experience Samadhi through their practices in meditation (zazen), yoga, Tai Chi, breath work and more.  And it seems the harder they try the more the experience eludes them.  Then the more they get frustrated.  And finally they just give up.

What a shame.  For in reality the best way to experience it is by letting go of the experience.  Because the experience of it is simply a “one pointed state of body and mind” and that you have already experienced a thousand times in your life.  It is that perfect orgasm that you had in the most intimate and loving relationship, it is that perfect bite of food that you had one evening where you experienced it with every sense in your body—taste, touch, smell, and sight.  It is when you were so engrossed in a task that it took someone hollering out your name or having to touch you to gain your attention.

There was not it and you—there was just it. Until of course you came back to you and when you did that you separated yourself from the experience, went out of the now moment and into the past, reliving it, talking about it, sharing it with the other person who may have been there at the time. Duality crept up on you and then there was you and then there was the experience.

Dogen said, “The activity of zazen is just like the fish swimming. Who can measure how many thousands and myriads of miles there are in zazen? Its journey is the entire body going on the path where no bird flies (page 13).”[2]  As were the above examples I have given.  You were not doing something hoping to reach Samadhi it was just “thusness.”  Just this.  Just that. Just being fully and totally in the moment experiencing, melding with it not even being conscious of your “self.” That’s true Samadhi.

So instead of searching and seeking for Samadhi Dogen simply says, “Practice thusness continuously and you will be thus. The treasury will open of itself for you to use as you wish (page 14).”[3] “Thusness: Reality itself, which is limitless and undivided (page 182)”[4] will become a natural part of your life, without any effort or trying.

Be like the fish swimming in the water and just experience the water and the rest will come of its own accord. Remember some birds can’t fly and some fish can walk.

Travel lightly, Shokai

Things to focus on this week:

1.  I will begin each day setting my intention to swim through it with ease and joy.

2.  I will remind myself that life is “just this” no more and no less.  Whatever “this” is!

3.  I will remember that some birds can’t fly and some fish can walk.

4.  Lastly, I will keep a journal of the opportunities that have been presented to me so I can keep track of my progress and my opportunities for growth.

They may not be able to fly,

but they sure know how to love!

King PenguinsEmperor Penguin and Baby


[1] Tanahashi, K. Levitt, P. (2013) The Essential Dogen, Writings of the Great Zen Master. Shambhala: Boston, MA

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

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